With one regular season game left, the Thorns send a clear message to the league: We're coming for the Shield.
After a scoreless first half, Morgan Weaver notched a second-half brace followed by stoppage-time goal from Taylor Porter to lift Portland Thorns FC to a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars at Providence Park on Sunday afternoon. With the win, Thorns FC (10-3-8, 38pts) move back to the top of the table with one week remaining in the NWSL regular season.
Thorns FC will play their final match of the regular season against NJ/NY Gotham FC at Red Bull Arena next Saturday.
On the Scoresheet
Weaver notched her first career brace to bring her season total to six goals, which is second-most on the team this season. Portland is the only club in the league to have four players with five or more goals scored in the 2022 campaign (Sophia Smith – 12, Weaver – 6, Hina Sugita – 5, Christine Sinclair – 5). Taylor Porter tallied her third goal to seal today’s victory for Thorns FC. Sam Coffey tallied her second assist of the season, making her the 10th player for Thorns FC to record multiple assists in 2022. Smith also earned an assist on the second goal of the match, registering her third of the season.
Today’s clean sheet marked Portland’s league-leading ninth of the season. It was also goalkeeper Bella Bixby’s ninth shutout of the campaign, which also leads the NWSL. Portland has the best goal differential in league (+25), which is 12 more than the next best team (North Carolina – 13). Thorns FC earned their sixth home win of the season today, which also marks a league best. Portland and the North Carolina Courage are tied for the most goals in the league (46).
Portland in the Playoffs
Thorns FC became the first team to clinch a playoff berth in the 2022 NWSL Playoffs on Sept. 21, following a 3-0 victory over Racing Louisville FC. With a win Oct. 1 on the road against NJ/NY Gotham FC, Portland can secure its second consecutive NWSL Shield, earning a home playoff game and a quarterfinal bye. Portland has qualified for the playoffs in six straight regular seasons. It also marks the eighth time Thorns FC have earned a postseason berth in nine NWSL regular seasons – the most of any team in the league.
POR – Morgan Weaver (Sam Coffey), 48th minute: From the middle of the field, Sam Coffey played the ball wide to find Morgan Weaver, who dribbled at pace into the box down the left side and converted from a tight angle past Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
POR – Morgan Weaver (Sophia Smith), 61st minute: Natalia Kuikka slipped a pass into the box for Sophia Smith to run onto near the endline. Smith cut the ball back and played it across the goal line for Morgan Weaver to tap in at the right post.
POR – Taylor Porter, 90+3rd minute: Chicago attempted to clear the ball from inside its goal box, but the loose ball landed for Porter just outside the box and she fired a powerful shot into the top left corner of the goal.
HIGHLIGHTS | Portland Thorns 3, Chicago Red Stars 0 | September 25, 2022
- Portland recorded its ninth clean sheet of the 2022 season, which currently leads the NWSL.
- Today’s result marked Thorns FC’s eighth shutout win by multiple goals in the 2022 campaign.
- Portland set a new single-season club record with 46 goals, beating its previous best of 40 goals set in 2019 and 2018.
- Thorns FC and the North Carolina Courage are tied for the most goals in the league (46).
- With its win today, Portland recorded six or more home victories for a sixth consecutive season.
- Thorns FC earned their 10th win of the campaign. Portland has recorded double-digit wins in six straight seasons, and eight of its nine NWSL regular seasons.
- Portland’s 27 goals at Providence Park this season is tied for the most home goals in the NWSL with North Carolina.
- Thorns FC improved their goal differential to +25 which is 12 more than the next best goal differential in the NWSL (North Carolina – 13).
- Morgan Weaver notched her first career brace.
- Weaver now has six goals this season, which is second-most on the team.
- Weaver is the 11th different player to register a brace in club history.
- Weaver’s brace was the eighth multi-goal game against Chicago in club history. Notably, a Thorns FC player has recorded a brace in each of the last three regular season home matches against the Red Stars (Sophia Smith – May 16, 2021, and Midge Purce – Aug. 25, 2019).
- Taylor Porter recorded her third career goal. Two of her goals have come in second-half stoppage time and all three of her goals have been scored at Providence Park.
- Sam Coffey registered her second assist of the season.
- Sophia Smith tallied her third assist in the 2022 campaign.
- Bella Bixby recorded her league-leading ninth shutout of the season.
- Thorns FC have scored multiple goals in 14 matches this year.
- Kelli Hubly is the only player to appear in every match this season for Thorns FC and has played every minute.
- With the win, Portland is unbeaten in its last 11 home regular-season matches against Chicago, posting a record of 8-0-3.
- Thorns FC have recorded four consecutive home shutouts against the Red Stars in regular season play at Providence Park, outscoring Chicago by a margin of 14-0 in those matches.
- Sophia Smith was named Supporters’ Player of the Year and recognized after the match.
POR: Weaver (Coffey), 48
POR: Weaver (Smith), 61
POR: Porter, 90+3
POR: Kuikka (caution), 31
POR: Rodriguez (caution), 44
CHI: St-Georges (ejection), 58
CHI: Morse (caution, ejection), 63, 90+1
POR: GK Bixby, D Kuikka, D Hubly, D Sauerbrunn, D Klingenberg (McGrady, 84), M Coffey (Porter, 74), M Rodriguez (Beckie, 59), M Sinclair, F Sugita, F Weaver (Dunn, 83), F S. Smith
Substitutes Not Used: GK A. Smith, D Nally, M Moultrie, F Ryan, F Everett
TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Smith, 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Smith, Weaver, 1); FOULS: 9 (Sinclair, Smith, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 1
CHI: GK Naeher, D Milazzo, D Morse, D Wright (Kowalski, 52), M Gautrat (Luebbert, 66), M Colaprico, M DiBernardo, M St-Georges, F Aguilera (Griffith, 66), F Pugh, F Nagasato (Cook, 77)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Boyd, M Stevens, M Fisher, F Hill, F Dawber
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Pugh, Wright, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Pugh, 1); FOULS: 10 (St-Georges, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
Referee: Alex Billeter
Assistant Referees: Alicia Messer, Baboucarr Jallow
Fourth Official: Jaclyn Metz
Weather: Sunny, 75 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial